Tony Fares - our latest Work and Welcome candidate
TONY Fares is the latest candidate in the Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) Work and Welcome program – supporting refugees and humanitarian migrants with a short-term work placement in the BCE office.
Tony will work for five weeks with the BCE Office Services team before moving to the Business Information Services where he will complete the program on 23 December.
Tony was born in Damascus, Syria where he says he had a great childhood and teenage years.
“I was born in 1987 and I had a great time growing up and going to school in Damascus," Tony said.
“But in 2010 protests started happening which often turned into violent protests, making life less secure in our city."
Armed with an IT degree from Damascus University, in 2013 Tony left the city of his birth to work in the middle East.
“I had to leave Damascus as it was no longer safe for me to stay there," Tony said.
“I was also offered a great role with the international retail company, FMCG, who most people will know through their popular products like Red Bull and Mars," he said.
“I lived and worked for many years in the Middle East but I was concerned about my parents who were still in Damascus in a volatile environment with no power or petrol – it was not safe for them."
When Tony's younger brother migrated to Germany, Tony decided he needed to also migrate with his parents to a country where they could all be safe. Australia was their destination.
“We are very happy living in Brisbane – it is such a peaceful place, and we love the lifestyle."
Tony said the first four to five months were the hardest, but they are adjusting to their new life and his parents are now learning English at Southbank TAFE.
“I am also studying a graduate certificate in business analysis at QUT and have been volunteering at a local IT company," he said.
“This position through the Work and Welcome program means a lot to me as it is my first big work opportunity in Brisbane and gives me a chance to demonstrate my skills.
“I hope it will help me get my foot in the door for future employment."
“I would like to thank everyone who contributes to the Work and Welcome program for making my placement possible, it has made a big difference to me and my family."
The Work and Welcome program is entirely self-funded by contributions from over 90 BCE staff.
Tony Fares (centre) with the BCE Work and Welcome program committee, BCE Executive Director Pam Betts (third from left) and Work and Welcome founder Mark Taylor (second from right)
Brisbane Catholic Education Office
2A Burke Street, Woolloongabba Qld 4102 Australia
GPO Box 1201 Brisbane 4001 Australia
Phone: (07) 3033 7000
Fax: (07) 3844 5101